White Sox aim to extend success over Indians
The Chicago White Sox may have played their way out of game series against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago has gotten the better of its division rivals this season, winning eight of the 11 matchups, including four of the six meetings in the Windy City.
That was certainly the case in Thursday's opener, as Brent Morel hit a three- run homer and Paul Konerko added a grand slam in a seven-run seventh inning, helping lead Chicago to an 8-1 win. Morel finished with two homers and drove in a career-high four runs for the White Sox, who have won four of their last five overall.
Chicago, though, is 8 1/2 games off the pace of the Detroit Tigers in the division. Cleveland, meanwhile, fell 10 games behind the idle Tigers.
The White Sox announced after the game that infielder Brent Lillibridge suffered a broken hand and will miss the rest of the season. He was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning.
"It was a nice game and we've been swinging the bat real good lately," said Konerko. "But we feel bad for Lillibridge cause he's been having a great year."
Matt Thornton (1-4) turned in 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to win it for Gavin Floyd, who scattered five hits and one run over his 5 2/3-inning start.
"We couldn't get anything going offensively and we didn't match up well," said Cleveland manager Manny Acta. "When their bullpen came out they just shut us down."
Jim Thome posted two hits and knocked in the only run for the Indians, losers of four straight and six of eight.
David Huff (2-4) was charged for three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings in the setback.
It won't get any easier for the Tribe tonight when they go up against left- hander Mark Buehrle, who is 11-7 with a 3.34 ERA. Buehrle lost for the second time in three decisions on Sunday when he was hammered by the Tigers for eight runs (seven earned) and 10 hits in just 3 1/3 innings.
"It was one of those days where no matter who was pitching, they were going to get 20 hits or 20 runs," said Buehrle. "They were finding holes and hitting the ball hard. Just throw it out the window and prepare in between starts like it was a good start."
The 32-year-old hurler is just 19 2/3 innings and three starts away from reaching his 11th straight season with at least 200 innings, 30 starts and double-digit victories.
Buehrle lost to the Indians the last time he faced them and is 14-16 lifetime against them with a 4.68 ERA.
Cleveland will counter with righty Jeanmar Gomez, who has been terrific in winning his last two starts. After serving up just an unearned run in a win over Oakland on August 30, Gomez was again brilliant on Sunday in Kansas City, as he allowed just a run and six hits in 5 1/3 innings to run his record to 2-2, while lowering his ERA to 4.11.
"Gomez gave us what we needed," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He's been very good his last two outings and we need that, because we lost Josh Tomlin. ... We lost (Carlos) Carrasco, too."
Gomez has never faced the White Sox.